Return to Australia: What international students should know about quarantine, PCR tests

australia travel guide
Will borders reopen on December 15? Do I need to take a PCR test upon arrival in Australia? Get your answers here. Source: William West/AFP

There’s plenty of confusion for international students looking to return to Australia since the country announced that it is delaying its border reopening to December 15. We’ve created an “Australia travel guide” to help shed some light on what we know so far about the situation based on government information:

australia travel guide

Get all your documents in order prior to your travel to Australia. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

Will borders open on December 15?

Now, that’s hard to say. Since we don’t have a spy planted in the Australian government, it’s uncertain whether the border reopening will be delayed again. Federal minister Greg Hunt, however, isn’t making any guarantees that Australia will reopen its border to international students and visa holders in mid-December.

What we do know is that the National Cabinet and the National Federation Reform Council will next meet as scheduled on December 10, and we could expect updates then.

Can I actually arrive on December15?

If things go to plan, Australia’s borders could reopen to fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders from December 15. Unless you’re taking part in a state or territory International Student Arrivals Plan, and have been granted an exemption, you will not be able to travel to Australia before that date.

It’s also essential that you get all your papers and permits in order before travelling to Australia. For a step-by-step Australia travel guide, check out this article.

australia travel guide

You may want to refer to the relevant state or territory government websites for the latest responses to the pandemic. Source: Dimitar Kyosemarliev / AFP

Do I need to quarantine when travelling to Australia?

According to government data, quarantine arrangement would depend on the state or territory you arrive in so you may want to refer to the relevant state or territory government websites for the latest responses to the pandemic.

As for where you can do your quarantine, once again, different states and territories have different rules. Some regions allow you to quarantine at your own accommodation while others require you to quarantine in designated quarantine hotels.

As the word “quarantine” implies, you will need to stay within your accommodation within the duration of your quarantine period. As much you may be itching to explore your new home, it’s best to be considerate and do your due diligence by following the rules.

You would need to take another PCR test in Australia after your arrival. Source: Emmanuel Croset / AFP

Do I need to take a PCR test after arriving in Australia?

You will most like have to do a PCR test upon arriving in Australia. Ideally, it should be done within 24 hours upon your arrival.

As for where you can do your PCR tests, you can refer to the relevant state or territory government websites for the nearest designated clinic.

Do note that the PCR test that you take prior to boarding your flight does not count.

Can I get a refund for my flight ticket now that Australia delayed its border reopening?

Many international students who were planning to travel to Australia on December 1 (before the border delay was announced) were left fuming after purchasing flight tickets, only to be told that they cannot fly into the country until much later.

For more details on the topic, be sure to check “Cancelled flight ticket to Australia: Your one-stop guide to get a refund.”

We hope this Australia travel guide was helpful and answered some of your burning questions.